Firefighting specialist Fogmaker is the first to introduce a liquid extinguishing agent Eco 1 that does not contain any harmful PFAS chemicals. Extinguishing a burning electric vehicle remains a worrying job.
A city bus or coach catching fire: it is the major concern of producers and operators. That is why a lot of manufacturers are turning to fire protection systems from Swedish company Fogmaker. Extinguishing a fire is done by spreading a high-pressure water spray. One litre of extinguishing fluid is converted into 1,700 litres of steam. This way, damage can be limited.
Fogmaker's technology has already sufficiently proven its benefits in combustion engine vehicles. All components of the bus that could potentially overheat and possibly catch fire are immediately extinguished. European regulations require the installation of an extinguishing system in all new vehicles from 22 travellers.
A major challenge for Fogmaker is fighting a fire in an electric bus. There is still no international standard for fire safety in zero-emission vehicle 'It is trial and error because the market is new to everyone. 'Currently, it remains a big question mark as to how a fire can be extinguished in an electric vehicle,' says Johan Stark, manager at Fogmaker.
'Our current installations are capable of fighting a fire when it occurs at the engine or drive unit but an internal fire in a battery cannot be extinguished for now. At the moment, we do have the ability to cool down the burning battery to save time so that passengers can quickly get out and get to safety. Extinguishing an electric vehicle requires an awful lot of water. 'For a high-volume vehicle like a bus, that means a huge challenge,' Johan Stark stresses.
How a burning battery can be controlled, it's as clear as mud. 'There are no statistics on battery incidents because the sector is relatively new. And adequate regulation is non-existent. Moreover, battery developers and manufacturers are not divulging any details on this matter. There is an air of mystery in the industry. 'Because the very first company to invent a solution to quickly extinguish a burning battery will immediately be at the top worldwide,' the Fogmaker manager says.
Some solace for firefighters is the fact that 50 to 60 per cent of fires originate from mechanical components of a bus. Burning batteries are still an exception but the share of electric buses in the overall transport market is therefore limited.
Fogmaker does take another step in making its fire installations ecological. From now on, harmful PFAS chemicals are eliminated from the liquid extinguishing age The Eco-1 will be implemented in extinguishing systems from next year. An international standard for banning PFAS is not likely to be imposed until 2027.